First, social networks are attractive to pedophiles and a number of other "problem" users because they simply provide the opportunity to anonymously connect with like-minded people. Many child pornography collectors have obsessive traits. How many news stories have you read about someone getting caught with only a few child pornography images? Generally, it's a matter of hundreds or even thousands. Facebook is one of the biggest players in the social networking arena and it also offers features like image and video sharing and private groups. So it wasn't a matter of if pedophiles would show up on Facebook, it was a matter of when.
Facebook initially seemed to focus on growing and adding new technological features and may not have anticipated that it would also attract child pornography traders until they ended up with quite a few of them. The problem was that by that time, there were millions of accounts. So they had to come up with automated ways of finding users who did not want to be found. Automatically shutting down accounts annoyed the people behind them, but they could always just create new profiles. So many of them did. To make things even more interesting, the problem users came from a number of countries, some of which are a lot more proactive about fighting child pornography than others.
For the most part, the pedophiles trading child pornography on Facebook seemed pretty stupid -- not too far removed from the idiots sharing it on open P2P networks. The ones on Darknet seemed smarter and scarier. I'd challenge the WND writers and anyone else interested in fighting child pornography to investigate that and try to come up with viable solutions.
Twitter has also had problems with these people, as have other social networks. For the most part, the people using Facebook to trade child pornography haven't seemed too bright, and a number of them who've lived in countries that would actually do something about it have been arrested. Child pornography is a big problem, and steadily chipping away at it may be the best anyone can do.
A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier is under investigation for using Facebook to allegedly solicit photos and videos of 10 Pierce County teenage girls in various stages of undress, then threatening to blackmail the girls if they didn't send more images.
The 24-year-old soldier, who has not been identified by law-enforcement officials, allegedly began his activities some 10 months ago while stationed at Lewis-McChord and continued them in Afghanistan, where he is currently deployed.
The soldier allegedly released some of the images online. The investigation, headed by the Washington State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force, is focused on distribution of child pornography, blackmail and extortion, said Lt. Ron Mead of the State Patrol.
As the story says, it seems like a lot of problem soldiers have been associated with JBLM. It's not clear whether there's something about the base itself, problems with recycling soldiers through too many deployments, or maybe some combination.
Another Canadian, Alexander James Kennedy, has been arraigned on charges of posting 10 child pornography images to his Facebook page.
In Australia, John Raymond Zimmerman was sentenced to up to 16 years on charges of manipulating a number of underage girls into sending him explicit photos of themselves.